This walk will use an ascent of Wansfell Pike to illustrate the early development of mountaineering in the Lake District and elsewhere. Discover why adventurous men and women started to climb mountains in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. What did they hope to discover? And how did they make their ascents? Early mountaineers discussed will include the gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe, poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, and intrepid Ambleside-based governess Ellen Weeton.

The ascent will be led by Professor Simon Bainbridge of Lancaster University, author of Mountaineering and British Romanticism.

The walk will take approximately 4 hours and involve 400 metres of ascent. There will be regular stops for readings and discussion. There is a good path up Wansfell but please ensure you have suitable footwear and outer clothing. Please bring a picnic or food to consume on the summit.

At the end of the walk, there will be time to explore The Armitt.

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Armitt Library and Museum Centre

Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BL

01539 431212


Opening times

April-October 2022

Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5pm (last admission 4:30pm)

The Armitt has taken every reasonable step to ensure you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to the museum.

We continue to have protective screens in place at our reception counter, sanitisers available for use, and a one-way route flow.

Whilst it is no longer mandatory to wear a face mask, we are happy for people to continue to do so and to maintain social distancing with anyone not within your group. If you have tested positive for COVID, please do not attend The Armitt and contact us if you would like to rearrange your visit.

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